There’s little I love more than creating food to celebrate, and, while I can’t quite believe it’s been 16 years since I sent my first issue to the printers, I’m very happy to share this special edition with you. When I think about all of the recipes we have created over the years and all the food trends that have come and gone, what strikes me are the classic recipes that have stood the test of time. Our very first cover recipe was a vanilla bean semifreddo, and it looks as good to me now as it did back then – simple yet perfect. That philosophy of simple food made beautiful has never let me down, whether I’m making a quick weeknight meal or a generous Sunday lunch. Then of course, there’s dessert – stunning layer cakes, amazing puddings, chocolate everything… always striving to make each recipe as perfect – and simple – as possible. And now, with ‘sweet 16’ as our theme for this issue, we were inspired to fill the pages with plenty of treats, starting with our cover star – honestly the best chocolate cupcake I have ever tried. I loved creating this issue and I hope you love reading it. Enjoy!
chocolate salted caramel swirl cupcakes
½ cup (125ml) water
110g unsalted butter, chopped
¹⁄³ cup (80g) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted
1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes, plus extra, for sprinkling
¼ cup (75g) store-bought dulce de leche or thick caramel
¼ cup (25g) Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
chocolate mousse icing
400g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream
6 egg yolks
1 cup (250ml) double (thick) cream, whipped to soft peaks
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted. Add the egg, sour cream, vanilla, flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt, and whisk to combine. Place one-third of the mixture in a medium bowl, add the dulce de leche and mix to combine. Add the cocoa to the remaining mixture and mix until smooth. Spoon the caramel mixture into 12 x ½-cup-capacity (125ml) cupcake tins lined with patty cases and top with the chocolate mixture. Cook for 25–28 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the chocolate mousse icing. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Place the single cream and egg yolks in a small jug and whisk to combine. Add to the chocolate and stir until smooth.
Place the eggwhites in a medium bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Carefully fold through the chocolate mixture. Add the double cream and gently fold through. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
Place the mousse in a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm star-shaped nozzle. Pipe the icing onto the cakes and sprinkle with the extra salt. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. MAKES 12.